Tivoli Circle - Lee Circle
A view of St. Charles Avenue from Tivoli Circle in 1875.  It was called Tivoli Circle, or
sometimes Tivoli Gardens, because of the Tivoli Carousel located there.  From the beginning,
Tivioli Circle was an important point in the city, linking upriver and downriver.  It was a common
meeting point and a popular place to gather for Mardi Gras parades.  In the late 1870's, a
monument to Robert E. Lee was erected and it became known as Lee Circle.
St. Charles Avenue branches out from the circle to the left in this photo.  The building directly to the
left of the monument was the old main branch of the Public Library.  The large building a block up St.
Charles is the Jerusalem Temple.  The short white building to the right of the monument was the
Sherrouse-Steele Motor Car Company.  Behind it, the large building with the two towers was the old
Temple Sinai.  Of these buildings, only the Jerusalem Temple remains.  Image is ca. 1920-30.
You can see from the aerial view from Lee Circle above in 1953 and the 2007 photo of the
same intersection below, that the 3-story Texaco garage in the center of the picture has
been replaced with a modern service station, but the white building to the right is still
there.  In the picture above, Hibernia Bank (with its dome) stands out as the tallest
building, but, since that time, several taller buildings surround it.
Above, main branch of the Public Library at Lee Circle, 1917; directly below, 1925; 2nd picture
below, the library, late 1940's.  Built with funds donated by Andrew Carnegie, the main branch of
the library stood at this location from 1908 to 1958, when it was sold after the construction of a
new central library on Loyola Avenue.  The old building was demolished by John Hancock
Insurance who built a new office building on the site.  The building was eventually purchased by
the K & B drugstore chain, and called K & B Plaza.
Mardi Gras revelers at Lee Circle, 1901; Temple Sinai's towers
can be seen in the background.
Saenger Halle at Lee Circle, 1890; written on the photo:  "German Singing Society;
Theatre for Saegner Fest; demolished and replaced by Public Library."
Tivoli Circle, some time before 1877.
In this 1920 view, the old library can be seen on the right and the Hotel Bienville
on
the left; the hotel is now the Tivoli Place Apartments for seniors.
Hotel Bienville, 1941.
View of Lee Circle from K & B Plaza (the site of the old library), looking
toward the Le Cirque Hotel, 2007.
From the top, the 1st, 4th, 5th, 11th and 13th images on the page are
courtesy of the excellent and prolific New Orleans photo-chronicler
Infrogmation, at Wikimedia Commons.
The link to this page is:
http://old-new-orleans.com/NO_Tivoli_Circle.html

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The old house above (barely visible in the preceding 1920 photo, next to the
old Bienville Hotel),
is said to have started life as a country home before the
city grew up around it.  
As you can see from the current picture above, it's
still standing - a fortunate survivor in an area where so many of the old
houses fell victim to the wrecking ball.